Together, We Light the Way

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1 The belief in order of difficulties is the basis for the world’s perception. It rests on differences; on uneven background and shifting foreground, on unequal heights and diverse sizes, on varying degrees of darkness and light, and thousands of contrasts in which each thing seen competes with every other in order to be recognized. A larger object overshadows a smaller one. A brighter thing draws the attention from another with less intensity of appeal. And a more threatening idea, or one conceived of as more desirable by the world’s standards, completely upsets the mental balance. What the body’s eyes behold is only conflict. Look not to them for peace and understanding.


I understand this problem. Life can appear to be very chaotic as I am bombarded with people and situations that vie for my attention. Because of past learning, I categorize them according to importance to me and according to urgency. This is the way we think we have to live. There are books written to help us learn how to best juggle these choices because for some, it becomes confusing and overwhelming and there seems to be a desperate need to get it right.

Two common categories are good and bad. I want to work in my garden and I want to visit my daughter and granddaughter. These are, in my estimation, good things. I had to get my taxes prepared and I know someone who is suffering. I put these in the bad category. Dealing with the good stuff is no problem for me unless something gets in the way. Dealing with the bad stuff goes into the procrastinate or deny file or the get it over with file.

I try to organize my life in such a way that the good comes first and the bad is dealt with without too much suffering. It is the way I have always tried to make sense of life and to bring some sort of peace to my life. What Jesus is saying here is that my efforts will not work, and I know he is right.

For instance, I have waited until nearly the last minute to get my tax information together so I can bring it to the preparer. The reason it has become such an unpleasant task is that I dislike the whole ordeal so much that I ignore it all year, failing to organize as I go. I ignore any opportunity to learn what is important and why and so I feel inadequate to do this and that makes the process a little scary.

This year was worse than usual, so I tried to control my mounting panic by bringing the idea of organization to a new level. My tax information may or may not be complete and accurate, but the finished product looks great! I put it all in a binder with tabs to indicate the different categories and zippered pockets for the smaller receipts so they would not get lost.

It goes even further, but you get the picture. This is me trying to convince myself that I understand my world and am at peace in it. But underneath, I don’t feel peaceful about it because I have glossed over my true concerns. It is like I put makeup over a dirty face to disguise the problem and then called it a day. And this is just one situation among many that call for my attention.

Now here is something that happened in this situation that gave me a clue that I was handling this all wrong. I had one issue with the tax information that I thought was not right but couldn’t figure out how to fix it. I worried about it but didn’t know what to do. This went on for three days as I tried to ignore it, and deny it, and to procrastinate some more. Finally, after I had given up and was just going to hope for the best, I surrendered the problem to God. And the answer just came to me, and it was so simple.

So this morning as I read the paragraph for today, I thought about what my life would be like if I did not try to decide with the ego thinking mind what everything is for and what it all means. What if I didn’t try to organize all these disparate things at all? What if I didn’t divide life into categories of good and bad, for instance?

The ego mind argues that this is impossible and that nothing would get done and the result would be chaos. But just from this one situation with the taxes, I see that all is chaos now. I see that working with just the ego mind to decide and direct causes uncertainty and fear, not to mention guilt that I did such a poor job all year. And then I saw that when I finally gave up the possibility that I could do this one final task and surrendered it to God, everything fell quickly into place. The ego must be wrong.

What if I did not judge anything that occurred, that I did not separate and categorize my life at all? What if I didn’t dread tax season every year but simply did what needed to be done trusting that I have loving Presence ever ready to help me whatever my need? What if I saw my suffering friend as fully capable through the Presence of Love in his mind to deal with his situation? Then the situation would not be different than any other situation.

I have already seen that when I surrender my life to God, I am gently uplifted and carried. But this desire to decide on my own what everything means and what should be done about all the separate elements, how to categorize them and to decide which ones are important and which ones are not, takes it out of God’s hands and leaves me on my own again.

I imagine, instead, a life that is a series of events with only one meaning and one purpose, not good or bad, important or unimportant. I imagine every event being perfect in its time and then being gone to make room for the next perfect moment. I imagine using each moment in whatever way the Holy Spirit would have me use it. I imagine being in joy regardless of what seems to be happening because I am living a life of purpose that is not my own, but God’s.

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Study of Text, C 15: VII. The Needless Sacrifice, P 2. 3-14-18

VII. The Needless Sacrifice, P 2
2 The ego establishes relationships only to get something. And it would keep the giver bound to itself through guilt. It is impossible for the ego to enter into any relationship without anger, for the ego believes that anger makes friends. This is not its statement, but it is its purpose. For the ego really believes that it can get and keep by making guilty. This is its one attraction; an attraction so weak that it would have no hold at all, except that no one recognizes it. For the ego always seems to attract through love, and has no attraction at all to anyone who perceives that it attracts through guilt.

Why do couples come together? What do they expect to get out of the relationship? Perhaps we feel lonely and hope a relationship will relieve that feeling.  Maybe we feel vulnerable and think a relationship will make us feel stronger or safer. Perhaps we want children and someone to share that with.

There might be a feeling of emptiness in us and we think a relationship will fill that hole in our hearts. It is possible that we feel a strong attraction to someone and this attraction feels like love, as we understand it. And maybe we think this feeling of love comes from the other person and so we think we need that special person in order to feel love.

Whatever the reason for the relationship, if it doesn’t come from a desire to share and to join as one without the need to get something from the other, then it is going to create guilt in the mind. And guilt causes fear, and fear often takes the form of anger. What generally happens is that the couple begins to use guilt and fear to keep the relationship intact.

I know that nearly everyone has used guilt or had guilt used on them in a relationship as a means to control. I know that I used to do this, but I don’t think I do that anymore, at least not outwardly. I still notice the tendency in my mind, though. There will be some form of the thought that the other person should do something for me, that is, act a certain way, say certain things, visit or call, maybe agree with me or take my side.

These are all ways of using guilt to control the nature of the relationship. I have avoided saying these things out loud and I catch them quickly when they show up in my mind and ask for another way to see the situation, but this tendency to use people and to make them special, and to use guilt to control the relationship, is a stubborn idea and keeps showing up.

As I learn that love does not seek to get anything from a relationship, I begin to experience my relationships differently, and there is not such a strong pull toward guilt. The tie to guilt is weaker and breaks more easily. I also see that the relationship is not so fragile and is more loving, and more fulfilling.

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Manual for Teachers: 7. SHOULD HEALING BE REPEATED? P 6. 3-13-18

6 The mistake is always some form of concern with the self to the exclusion of the patient. It is a failure to recognize him as part of the Self, and thus represents a confusion in identity. Conflict about what you are has entered your mind, and you have become deceived about yourself. And you are deceived about yourself because you have denied the Source of your creation. If you are offering only healing, you cannot doubt. Doubt is the result of conflicting wishes. Be sure of what you want, and doubt becomes impossible.

Let me not get in the way of God’s work through me.

Healing is a simple thing. I need only allow the power of God to work through me. It becomes complicated or confused only when the ego mind is allowed to intrude on the healing. Then the mind begins to question; can this be healed, should it be healed? Have you ever had the thought that maybe it was the person’s classroom and maybe you should not interfere? The healer has become confused about his own identity. Conflict has entered the mind.

I was asked to pray for someone this morning. The ego mind jumped right in with questions about the problem and I saw my mind become confused about how to pray in this situation. So I stopped thinking. I let my mind go still and right away, I knew how to pray. I knew that this person was healed and whole and nothing else about her was true.

I knew she was energetic and in love with life, that she felt loving and joyful simply because that is her true nature. These things are true about her because of who she is and I cannot imagine anything else being true. My mind is clear about this and so my prayer is powerful as is the mind that holds it as true. I know what is true and so doubt is impossible and healing is certain.

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Study of Text, C 15: VII. The Needless Sacrifice, P 1. 3-9-18

VII. The Needless Sacrifice, P 1
1 Beyond the poor attraction of the special love relationship, and always obscured by it, is the powerful attraction of the Father for His Son. There is no other love that can satisfy you, because there is no other love. This is the only love that is fully given and fully returned. Being complete, it asks nothing. Being wholly pure, everyone joined in it has everything. This is not the basis for any relationship in which the ego enters. For every relationship on which the ego embarks is special.


The hardest thing for most people to accept is that we don’t know what love is. We think we do. We think we love our spouses and parents and children. And of course, there is love in those relationships, but it is not pure, unconditional love. It is not fully given and fully returned. It is not untainted by the special needs we think we have.

There is such a thing as love and that is the love we share with our Creator. It is powerful, pure and completely satisfying. Unfortunately, while here in time we can only take Jesus’ word on this. There is no memory of it. We deliberately blocked that memory so that we could have this experience.

We keep the memory of God’s love blocked now because if we remembered His love, we rush back into Him. Jesus says in the Course that we have become afraid to return to God, afraid of retribution. In the ego mind from which most of us make decisions, we defend and attack, and so we imagine that God does the same thing. Of course, Love cannot attack and has no need to defend, but we no longer understand love so here we are in this crazy cycle with no apparent way out.

Jesus overcame this confusion, found the way out of our self-imposed prison of ego thinking and makes that escape available to us. Because he did it, it was done for the entire mind. We are saved. Now we only need to accept that this is true. Like frightened children we hide from our salvation, mistaking it for danger. We pretend that we don’t need help and we can do it for ourselves.

So we form relationships in which we bargain for love. It makes me want to cry to think about it. I have done this so many times and every time it has failed and continues to fail over and over again. There is a light for me at the end of this long, long tunnel. I am learning the difference between love and need.

I am learning that I deserve love and am worthy of it. I am learning that I can actually love others, really love them as I let go of using them to get what I already have, that is, love. When I stop using my relationships to get, they become relationships of sharing what we both already have. Then they are closer to what love truly is, not exactly the same, but a clearer reflection of love.

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Manual for Teachers: 7. SHOULD HEALING BE REPEATED? P 5. 3-7-18

5 The real basis for doubt about the outcome of any problem that has been given to God’s Teacher for resolution is always self-doubt. And that necessarily implies that trust has been placed in an illusory self, for only such a self can be doubted. This illusion can take many forms. Perhaps there is a fear of weakness and vulnerability. Perhaps there is a fear of failure and shame associated with a sense of inadequacy. Perhaps there is a guilty embarrassment stemming from false humility. The form of the mistake is not important. What is important is only the recognition of a mistake as a mistake.


Now Jesus explains the basis for doubt and he tells us it is self-doubt. Of course, he is talking about the ego-self since your true-self has no doubt. I can see why I sometimes doubt if I am using my ego mind to affect healing. The ego has no interest in healing and no ability to heal. The only thing it can offer is fear and doubt, and as a relief, distractions, such as magic potions to temporarily relieve the effects of the magical problem.

Jesus talks about the different ways doubt will manifest such as a sense of inadequacy or fear of failure. I have experienced both of these. There are other forms doubt takes, but as Jesus says, the form doesn’t matter. The only thing that does matter is that we recognize it is just a mistake. As it happens, I have an issue right now.

I got sick the other day with viral bronchitis. I looked at my mind and I saw the thoughts that caused this manifestation and I have changed my mind about them. I have remembered that the peace of God is everything I want and that I have no use for sickness. I also asked my friend and healer to pray with me about this.

I saw that I was noticing the symptoms and was tempted to doubt, but I also know the truth and I know I cannot trust the body’s senses to tell me the truth. So I am disregarding the body and placing my trust in what Jesus tells us. I have asked that my mind be healed of the beliefs that source sickness and I have brought my doubt to the light to be undone. I am in expectation of a speedy recovery.

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Study of Text: C 15, VI. The Holy Instant and the Laws of God, P 8. 3-6-18

VI. The Holy Instant and the Laws of God, P 8
8 In the holy instant God is remembered, and the language of communication with all your brothers is remembered with Him. For communication is remembered together, as is truth. There is no exclusion in the holy instant because the past is gone, and with it goes the whole basis for exclusion. Without its source exclusion vanishes. And this permits your Source, and that of all your brothers, to replace it in your awareness. God and the power of God will take Their rightful place in you, and you will experience the full communication of ideas with ideas. Through your ability to do this you will learn what you must be, for you will begin to understand what your Creator is, and what His creation is along with Him.


Jesus talks about the holy instant in two ways. In some instances, he refers to moments of clarity, of healing, of making another choice. In this instance, he is talking about the culmination of all those instances that bring us to the real world in which we remember God and remember who we are as one. He says that in this holy instant we will remember the language of communication with all our brothers. I wonder what it will be like to communicate without words getting in the way.

Another thing that will happen is that exclusion will no longer exist. As the Course says, love excludes no one. This is another way to express separation, I think. In separation, we exclude some brothers from our love. We do this deliberately and in carelessness. I would say that we do it all the time, dividing humanity into levels of feeling and concern.

We have a small group of people we love, family mostly, and maybe a few friends. We have more people we call friends and acquaintances whose well-being seems to impact us in some lesser way. Then there are people in our town who mean more to us than others outside that town, then state and then country. It seems proximity and relatable characteristics play a part in our decision to love, like, or care about others.

Another thing that matters to us as we choose the objects of our affection is our past experience with them. We learn to exclude certain people, either through past experience with them or personally, sometimes just past experience with people like them. We learn exclusion from things we were taught in the past about their gender identity or race or ethnicity. Sometimes we learn to judge them according to their status within the society. When we finally let go of the past, all of this judgment is gone because the basis for judgment is gone and we are free to know our union with each other.

There will come a time when all these groupings and levels and degrees of love will cease to exist. We will love everyone the same because we will discover that we are all the same. We will love everyone because we learned to love ourselves first. We are learning to do this now. Each time we ask the Holy Spirit how to see a brother differently and each time we bring a grievance to the light for healing we come closer to the ultimate holy instant in which we remember who we are and thus remember God.

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Manual for Teachers: 7. SHOULD HEALING BE REPEATED? P 4. 3-5-18

4 One of the most difficult temptations to recognize is that to doubt a healing because of the appearance of continuing symptoms is a mistake in the form of lack of trust. As such it is an attack. Usually it seems to be just the opposite. It does appear unreasonable at first to be told that continued concern is attack. It has all the appearances of love. Yet love without trust is impossible, and doubt and trust cannot coexist. And hate must be the opposite of love, regardless of the form it takes. Doubt not the gift and it is impossible to doubt its result. This is the certainty that gives God’s teachers the power to be miracle workers, for they have put their trust in Him.

I bet that everyone has fallen into this ego trap. You pray for someone in all sincerity but nothing seems to happen. Then you pray again or you try to think of reasons it did not work. Maybe you think that it is the patient’s fault. He just doesn’t want to be healed and so it can’t be received. Maybe you even felt resentment that he doesn’t want healing.

Or maybe you feel afraid that you are the one who is not worthy an answer. Or worst of all, maybe the truth is not true. Maybe God is judging you or him or the situation and pain and suffering is His answer. After all, how about Job, who God seemed to test beyond all reason? Or maybe there is not a God at all and you are praying desperately to thin air.

Mostly, what I used to experience was an unacknowledged fear when my prayer did not seem to have effects. And continuing to pray in the hopes of finally doing it right or to finally convincing God would seem like the only thing to do if I loved this person I was praying for. It has taken me a long time to understand the true nature of prayer.

Now when I pray, I understand what faith really is. I understand that I can trust prayer and the Answer to prayer. I don’t always know why the appearance does not change when the prayer is offered, but I know the prayer has been answered and that I don’t need to understand how or when it will unfold.

I am asking that the mind of the patient be healed along with mine. How that manifests in the world is not for me to decide. I don’t really know what is needed, or what outcome is best for the awakening mind. The timing is not for me to decide either. My only part is to ask for healing, to trust that my prayer is answered, and to trust my brother that he will accept it, as he is ready to do so and that his timing is perfect.

This total trust is love, not the fear and doubt and confusion I used to experience. My fear and doubt led to repeated pleading prayers, which are not actually prayers at all. I have learned to trust my brother and I have learned to trust God. When my trust does waver, I know that it is now time to ask for healing of my own mind.

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